Being a caregiver is definitely not for the weak at heart. I’ve been a caregiver to my legally blind mom for almost five years, and my sister, who has been developmentally disabled since 2008.
When you’re a caregiver, everyone wants to give you advice on how you should best handle your situation. But, I find that most of the people offering advice have never had the opportunity to take care of a loved one while managing a life, career, family, and caregiving responsibilities. It’s those moments where I find that you have to live by one of my mottos, finding the funny.
You have to learn how to “find the funny” in every situation. It’s not obvious most of the time. It always appears at an unexpected moment, and that’s what makes it wonderful. You can be at a point where insanity is making a dash toward you because you have just realized that you have to go pickup your sister from work at 7:30 pm; after rushing across town to make dinner for your mom, after leaving your downtown office that you’ve been at since that morning. In that one moment you have gone from breadwinner, cook, and chauffer all in the span of two hours.
The humor reminds me that all of the stresses of the day mean little compared to these moments. Those moments are rare and these memories will last a lifetime. It’s funny when you’re a caregiver, you feel like this is the most permanent decision of your life. But, in reality it’s temporary. Remember, nothing lasts forever.
When you find the funny, you create a memory that will last past this situation. You forget about the stress, and remember the things that make you want to give up your life for this person. That’s what sustains me. Of course, I get frustrated, and want to give up. We all do. But, when I do, I remember that beautiful glint in her eyes and everything is right in my world. Make it a point to find the funny. It will free you, and give you laughs and a lifetime of memories.
About the Author
Pamela Davis is one of the “2 Chicks” of “2Chicks and 1 Old Lady”.
“2 Chicks and 1 Old Lady,” is a blog that Pamela started to share the adventures that she and her developmentally disabled sister are experiencing on their quest to live life and find love while taking care of their legally blind mother. Her blog can be enjoyed at www.2chicksand1oldlady.com
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